Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn confirmed to CNN on Thursday that The Radio City Rockettes were set to perform at the inauguration.
“They did so in 2001 and 2005. The Rockettes are a wonderful group who have been a part of American culture for decades, almost 100 years and they represent many women from around the country and they’re really what’s best about America,” he said.
“So we’re very excited and honored to have them be a part of the 50th inaugural.”
Well, Trump and his team might be excited, but the Rockettes? Not so much. According to members of the world famous dance troupe, they are literally being forced to perform. According to PerezHilton, one Rockette, Phoebe Pearl took to Instagram to voice her embarrassment and disappointment:
“I usually don’t use social media to make a political stand but I feel overwhelmed with emotion. Finding out that it has been decided for us that Rockettes will be performing at the Presidential inauguration makes me feel embarrassed and disappointed. The women I work with are intelligent and are full of love and the decision of performing for a man that stands for everything we’re against is appalling. I am speaking for just myself but please know that after we found out this news, we have been performing with tears in our eyes and heavy hearts. We will not be forced! #notmypresident”
Another woman, Amanda Duarte, who is creator, producer and host of Dead Darlings, wrote on her Facebook page and also on Twitter:
“Most of the Rockettes do not want to perform at the inauguration. AGVA, their union, has put in writing to the full time Rockettes that they must accept the inauguration gig or they will lose their jobs. It’s perfect, actually. What could be more fitting for this inauguration than forcing a group of women to do something with their bodies against their will?”
Most of the Rockettes do not want to perform at the inauguration. AGVA, their union, has put in writing to the… https://t.co/BR04tTAsvA
— Amanda Duarte (@duarteamanda) December 23, 2016
As a woman, the thought of being literally forced to perform for this disgusting man is beyond demeaning! If the Rockettes as a whole do not want to do it, they shouldn’t have to, but like Ms. Duarte said:
“What could be more fitting for this inauguration than forcing a group of women to do something with their bodies against their will?”
UPDATE: The Madison Square Garden Company, which oversees the Rockettes, has released a statement saying they will not “force” any performer into attending.
“For a Rockette to be considered for an event, they must voluntarily sign up and are never told they have to perform at a particular event, including the inaugural,” the statement read. “It is always their choice.”
With lots of eyes keeping them accountable, hopefully that means they will stick to their word. However, it should not be overlooked that the first sentence is in direct conflict with the original email leaked to the press which said, in no uncertain terms, that the performers risked losing their jobs if they don’t “agree” to attend.
We will update with any more developments as they come in.
Featured image via Scott Gries/Getty Images